The first symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis are not specific and are perceived as manifestations of other diseases, so the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis is postponed and its course worsens. Cervical osteochondrosis is a progressive disease, which is based on pathological changes in the intervertebral discs.
The signs of cervical osteochondrosis are quite diverse and depend on the formations involved in the process: nerve roots, arteries, veins or peripheral nerves.
The most common reasons for the development of cervical osteochondrosis include a sedentary lifestyle, an improperly selected pillow for sleeping, scoliosis, trauma and heredity.
In the course of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine, several degrees are distinguished:
- The first degree is manifested by the compaction of the intervertebral disc.
- The second degree is expressed in a decrease in the height of the intervertebral disc and the appearance of cracks.
- The third degree is the narrowing of the spinal canal.
- In the fourth degree, bony growths appear along the edges of the vertebral disc.
With osteochondrosis, the first sign is headache, signs of circulatory disorders, pain and reduced sensitivity in the limbs and body.
The headache appears when you are in an uncomfortable position, starts in the morning in the back of the head and spreads to the temples and forehead. Often these pains occur on one side of the head. The nature of the pain is dull squeezing, often accompanied by nausea. When the vertebral artery is involved in the process, the nature of the pain changes: burning pains appear in the region of the crown and temples. Duration from a few hours to several days, not relieved by taking painkillers. In some cases, the pain can cover the entire head.
In addition, the symptoms of circulatory disorders add to the symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis, such as:
- flies flashing in the eyes;
- double vision in gases;
- noise in the ears;
- deterioration of vision;
- loss of consciousness.
Common signs of osteochondrosis in the cervical spine:
- general weakness;
- spasmodic attacks of increased blood pressure;
- memory impairment;
- violation of attention;
- speech disorders;
- sleep disorders;
- sense of anxiety.
Pharyngeal syndrome is manifested by pain, dryness and a lumpy feeling in the throat, hoarseness of the voice.
Other signs of illness
Sensory disturbances are manifested by acute "low back pain" in the arms and neck, numbness of the skin of the neck and fingers, decreased muscle strength in the arms, numbness of the tongue and limitation of its mobility. Episodic or permanent hearing loss.
From the side of the nose, there is a feeling of congestion, a decrease in smell, snoring appears during sleep, as a person begins to "goose".
Deterioration of the condition of the teeth and oral cavity can also be a sign of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine.
The appearance of disturbances in the innervation of the skin is manifested by painful sensations when touching the scalp, a pulsating sensation under the skin of the occiput, a sensation of creeping "goosebumps".
Pain syndrome and stiffness of movements of the neck region, which occurs in the morning and passes by itself when the muscles warm up. Often, with sudden head movements, patients feel a crunch in the neck. Patients with difficulty raise their hand to the affected side, stiffness of movements in the fingers of the hand is also observed.
Pain and burning between the shoulder blades are taken for osteochondrosis of the thoracic region.
On the part of the organs of the thoracic cavity, a diencephalic syndrome is observed - pain in the region of the heart, sometimes pressing with panic attacks, suffocation, pale skin and sweat, increased blood pressure. These attacks are often mistaken for heart disease. The difference is that these signs increase depending on the position of the body and do not disappear after taking nitroglycerin.
Shallow breathing is observed, the development of diseases of the lungs and bronchi, such as asthma and chronic obstructive bronchitis, is possible.
In rare cases, the signs of cervical osteochondrosis are pain in the upper abdomen and hypochondrium, which is perceived as an attack of gastritis, cholecystitis or pancreatitis.
Symptoms of osteochondrosis are grouped into syndromes: radicular, cardiac, pharyngeal, vertebral, irritative reflex and vertebral artery syndrome.
Signs found during the exam
The most frequent manifestations of osteochondrosis, which a specialist can identify when examining and palpating the patient's spine:
- violation of posture;
- smoothing the physiological curve of the neck;
- neck asymmetry;
- muscle tension in the neck;
- determination of dense threads along the affected muscles;
- limitation of the mobility of the neck;
- pain of the affected muscles on palpation;
- mobility of the vertebrae relative to each other.
Along with the patient's sensations and physical examination, there are diagnostic signs of cervical osteochondrosis and are detected only during instrumental examination.
Radiological signs may include a decrease in the height of the intervertebral disc and an increase in the intervertebral foramen.
Ultrasound signs of cervical osteochondrosis: narrowing of the vertebral canals, protrusion and herniation of the intervertebral discs, decreased blood flow in the vertebral artery.
It should be noted that the symptoms that often arise are not defined as signs of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine, and for a long time people use symptomatic treatment, which only temporarily relieves their condition. Over time, the processes in the intervertebral discs aggravate and can lead to complications and irreversible consequences. Therefore, when the first signs of the disease appear, it is necessary to consult a neurologist who can recognize the symptoms in time and prescribe adequate treatment.